How to Choose Pregnancy Safe Acne Products

If you’re currently pregnant or trying to conceive, you know that certain foods and activities should be avoided during pregnancy. But while you’re canceling that amusement park trip and crossing deli meats off your shopping list, have you considered whether your skin care regimen is safe for your baby? Here’s what you need to know about choosing pregnancy-friendly acne products, from vegan face wash to soothing masks that banish those hormonal blemishes and accentuate your new maternal glow.

Ingredients To Avoid

While retinols and retinoids work wonders for the skin and ward off signs of aging, women who are expecting or trying to conceive should immediately discontinue use of these products. Both the over-the-counter and prescription formulas as well as oral versions like isotretinoin can cause birth defects.

Acne-fighting products with salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide may be your go-to when you have a breakout, but dermatologists aren’t sure how these ingredients may impact fetal development. Save your favorites until after the baby is born and look for gentle alternatives like organic essential PMS oil , which doubles as a blemish-fighter.

In general, pregnancy products should be non-comedogenic, which means they don’t clog pores, and designed for sensitive skin. Fragrances, harsh exfoliants and other potentially irritating ingredients can cause redness, swelling and additional breakouts.

Pregnancy-Safe Formulas

When you’re having a baby, your skin is prone to blemishes even if you usually have a clear complexion. Hormone changes often lead to increased oil production, which causes unexpected breakouts that sometimes last for the entire nine months. To fight back against acne, look for products that provide a deep clean without the ingredients listed above. The best blemish oil for women who are expecting clears impurities with naturally soothing herbal ingredients like lavender and blue tansy.

Hydrocolloid bandages, which draw blemishes out from the skin when worn overnight, provide a safe acne-fighting alternative for pregnant women. Be sure to choose a brand without added salicylic acid.

Hyaluronic acid attracts moisture to the skin, which may seem counterproductive if you have an oily complexion during your pregnancy. However, maintaining a healthy moisture balance helps keep oil overproduction in check.

Shop for cleansers and serums containing ceramides, which help preserve the skin’s natural barrier. This helps ward off antioxidants and other environmental irritants that can do a number on sensitive skin. If your skin needs exfoliation, opt for a glycolic acid formula and do a small patch test to gauge your skin’s reaction before applying the product to your entire face.

Sun protection is a must in everyone’s skin care routine, but it’s especially important for pregnant women to wear SPF each and every day. Hormones increase the likelihood of melasma, a skin condition that causes discoloration and dark spots. Exposure to UV rays can further increase your risk for this common pregnancy side effect, so shield your complexion when you spend time outdoors.

If you aren’t sure whether your favorite acne spot cream or cleanser is safe for use during pregnancy, bring your regimen to your next OB-GYN appointment. Your doctor can review the formulas you use and let you know whether any ingredients should be discontinued until your baby is born.